Latina Queer, Here, and Ready to Travel
Latina Queer, Here, and Ready to Travel! My love for traveling started at a young age. My first trip I ever took was to Brazil when I was about 2 years old. After that, I traveled through Uruguay and Argentina with my grandmother for about a month. I might have been really young, and yet I still have some recollection of the sunset lit sky in Punta del Este and the ferry ride I took from Montevideo to Buenos Aires. I was exposed and privileged enough to experience traveling starting at such a young age.
Fast forward to high school, and the time in which I was discovering myself in a whole new way. I had always considered being a traveler as part of my identity, but during this time in my life, I came to terms with another part of my identity: my queer identity. Social constructs lead me to question myself and my queer identity, but heading off to college and having the freedom to discover more of myself, all of that changed. I had always considered myself more of a “tomboy”. I wear more masculine clothing, my hair has gone from half way done my back to pixie cuts, undercuts, and now short fades. Through the eyes of society, I couldn’t be more “stereotypically” queer.
After coming to terms with my identities, I became a happier and better version of myself. I have met the love of my life during my time in undergrad and one of the things we enjoy doing together is traveling the world and experiencing new cultures. We have the massive list of everywhere we want to see together that is just constantly growing to the point where I think to myself, “is this even possible”, but we will make it possible. In the past, we have already hit some of the places on the list. We had the privilege of traveling to London, Luxembourg, Montreal, and Miami, and Boston since we got together about a year and a half ago. We have seen beautiful historical landmarks like Vianden Castle in the northern countryside of Luxembourg. The Village has a large German influence in its architecture and culture as it is nestled closer to the German border. Besides the actual castle, the journey there was unforgettable. We took a train from Luxembourg city into the countryside, transferred trains, took a bus, and walked about a couple miles up one of the steepest hills I have ever walked on with both of our travel packs. It was one of the most amazing and enlightening experiences I have had and I got to experience it with the one I love most. Moments like those are what I live for.
Back when we traveled to Montreal, my girlfriend and trekked it in a snowstorm to the botanical gardens to experience the warmth of the greenhouses and the marvelous tropical and succulent plants that were put on display.
Traveling has always been a large part of my life, and I’m constantly trying to plan new trips to check more places off my list. However, being queer brings a struggle to traveling. The same way that I research destinations for ideas of things to do, places to see, etc. I research how much of a safe space it is. Different cultures have different ways of doing things and treat queer identified people differently. This is not to bash on other cultures, but more so to make sure I don’t end up in an unsafe situation while trying to see the world. Despite that struggle, I wouldn’t change the experiences I have had abroad with anything. It was some of the most memorable moments of my life coupled with the most marvelous pictures to keep these memories living forever.
Let the travel stories continue. Share them with others, and never let anything get in the way of the experiences, lessons, and joy that traveling provides you. I promise you will learn so much about yourself just from taking a train from London through the countryside and into Cambridge or walking through a snow storm just to see some historical landmarks. These are life learning experiences and I will forever treasure those moments in my heart and I will never let my queer identity of being able to see what this world has to offer.